The Daily Observer was hinted Monday, April 4, that a sibling of the 5-year-old ebola-positive boy has also tested positive for the deadly virus. But senior Health Ministry Officials denied that another person is confirmed to having the virus.
They told this newspaper that other than the 5-year-old boy, no other known person in Liberia is tested positive with the virus.
Nevertheless, a source, who is among those combating the present outbreak, disclosed to our Health Correspondent that another one of the deceased 30-year-old lady’s three sons was confirmed yesterday to having the virus.
The source, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media on such matter, however, clarified that the other boy had tested positive earlier in the day.
He added: “But as it is our protocol, the test has to be done at least twice in order to validate the first result or a counter result. Up to while I was around the second testing had not been done to validate the first result of the other boy being confirmed with the virus.”
If it becomes true that he has tested positive with the virus, then the number of confirmed cases alive would be these two kids of the 30-year-old lady (name withheld) who had crossed over from neighboring Guinea on March 21, 2016.
According to Ministry of Health authorities, the lady’s husband had recently died of the virus in neighboring Guinea, which is battling a resurgence of the deadly virus that has now claimed several lives in that sisterly republic.
Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah told this newspaper on Sunday, April 3 that the official Liberian borders with Guinea were closed on the day the lady and her three children entered Liberia. He added: “So, she didn’t come through any of the official border posts.”
The lady, who is the index case of this present Ebola outbreak, died last Thursday, March 31st, while en-route to the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, a densely populated suburb of Monrovia.
She had fallen sick and was treated at a clinic in Jacob Town, a suburb of Monrovia. When her condition deteriorated beyond the clinic’s control, they referred her to the Redemption Hospital. En-route to the hospital, she died. There was a swab done on her body and the result came back that she had died of the virus.
Her three children with whom she had crossed over to Liberia, along with her sister, are now being held and are given supported treatments at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) II Ebola treatment unit (ETU), which presently has a 60-bed capacity should the number of cases in this present outbreak increase.
Along with those four, at least 46 contacts, including 13 healthcare workers who worked at the clinic where the 30-year-old deceased woman initially sought medical treatment before her death, are now being observed and monitored. The healthcare workers are under what authorities at the Ministry of Health termed voluntary precautionary observation (VPO). These health workers are being kept at a “safe place far from their families and friends so that they don’t contaminate others just in case.”
Liberia was last declared free from the EVD transmissions on 14 January. It was firstly declared EVD-transmission free on May 9, 2015, but new cases emerged subsequently, forcing health stakeholders to restart the clock each time.
Following the Ebola-transmission free declaration in May 2015, the nation entered a 90-day period of heightened surveillance aimed at preventing a future re-emergence of the disease. Unfortunately, the nation has reported more than two new outbreaks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded the latest death of the lady and summed up Liberia’s Ebola death tally to 4,809 since March 2014. It also said at least 10,675 persons have been affected with the virus in Liberia.